Thursday, November 5, 2009

back alley swish

what i love about a really good restaurant sans shine far far away from the fray is like a shared secret they are passed from one special friend to another. this is how i was introduced to sydney madang, hidden like a trove of treasure clustered amongst the vertical skyline in an overlooked alley off pitt st in the middle of the CBD. and so it is passed on.

nestled right under the nose of the city akin to its authentic seoul counterparts where the complimentary pan chan juxtaposes the soft urined concrete surrounds humbly scattered with real life practicalities of bins & waiting stools with such an injection of colour, texture & flavour that the urban air blend is perfect. just dirty enough. more kim chi?

after ordering the requisite local beer, hite, which looks eerily like the brewery has multiple products reaching into the oral hygiene market with a one size fits all branding campaign [gotta love the gagging for a wide mouthed smile stripe & changeable temperature indicator icon in cool minty blue].

next up is the serious business of food ordering & there is no possible way we are going past the seafood & vegetable with udon shabu shabu. thankfully we are an easily convinced two but a third could easily be accommodated with the feast that ensues. the gas barbecue is ritualistically delivered & turned on. then efficiently replaced when it runs out of steam...

there's no going back now as the plates of food arrive: 1 x vegetables & several asian varieties of mushrooms [hi ron], 1 x plate of seafood [mussels, octopus, calamari, scallops, prawns] and 1x dish of udon with fresh shallots to pile in at the end.

this is interactive dining at its best. we tong ingredients in a swish swish [literal japanese translation of shabu shabu which describes the mix action] motion with wonder into the broth as we salivate in anticipation of what comes next. once the glass noodles are clear the pace whips into a frenzy as the melting hotpot of goodness permeates to die for edible smoke [now with extra spice]. at 53.00 AUD this dish is sublime decadence & extremely good value for shared food [we don't quite finish it but loosen belts trying].

we finish by cleaning our teeth on another bottle of beer leaving the comfort of the back streets to sparkle & shine our pearly [w]hites back out amongst the bustle. if the neon signs were in kanji/hanja i could almost believe we're not in sydney anymore dorothy.

sydney madang restaurant
371A pitt st
+61 [02] 9264 7020

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